New Jersey's two most popular elected Governors of the last 25 years are both moderate Republicans.
Finishing first by a wide margin in our survey was Tom Kean at 43%. Christie Whitman is second at 19%, followed by Jon Corzine at 18%.
Kean is the first choice of Republicans (59%) and independents (47%). Among Democrats he finishes runner up with 28% to Jon Corzine's 36%.
It's a sad commentary on the popularity of New Jersey's recent Democratic Governors that Corzine is tops despite his poor approval ratings. 69% of independents picked one of the two Republicans as their favorite, and 39% of Democrats picked one of them while only 14% of Republicans chose a Democrat.
You might think that New Jersey voters looking back most favorably on a pair of moderate Republicans would bode well for Chris Christie. The problem is that a majority of voters in the state don't think he's a moderate. 51% believe he's a conservative to 43% thinking he's a moderate.
That's posing a problem for Christie in the campaign. Among moderates who think he's a moderate he leads Corzine 61-16. But among moderates who think he's a conservative, Corzine has the 57-22 lead. The fact that a majority of voters don't think Christie is a centrist has to be hurting his campaign in a decidedly centrist state.
When it comes to the state's least popular Governor of the last 25 years, Jim McGreevey takes the dubious top spot with 35%. He's followed by Whitman at 26% and Corzine at 20%.
McGreevey is the least popular with Republicans (43%) and independents (31%). Among Democrats he finishes second with 33% to Whitman's 44%.
Jim Florio is fourth for most popular but also fourth for least popular.
Full results here